>> police in china arrest 12 people over an explosion in tianjin that killed 139 people. hello, you are watching al jazeera. also coming up, under pressure to do more to deal with the refugee crisis in europe, leaders meet in vienna to address the issue. hope for peace in south sudan as the president signs an agreement to end an 20 month long conflict. >> conservationallists are
struggling to save over 1500 years of christian heritage in the churches. police in china have arrested 12 people over massive explosions in tianjin two weeks ago. 179 people died when a warehouse storing hazardous chemicals exploded. government officials are also being prosecuted over negligence. adriane brown joins us live from beijing. who's been arrested? >> well, jane, i think those that you would expect to be arrested have now been arrested. it includes the chairman, the vice chairman and three deputy managers of this logistics warehouse where we had those twin explosions two weeks ago. we also have to remember, the day before, the man who headed
the country's work safety regulator was also sacked. he incidentally was a former deputy mayor of tianjin, a position he held for 12 years. there is, amongst ordinary people in tianjin, remember, the lives of some 30,000 people have been disrupted, many are living in temporary housing. there is an impatience for this inquery to be open. in the past investigations tended to be opaque in china. but you sense perhaps this one is going to be different. the media has had in many ways extraordinary access, we are getting daily updates from local government officials. the question is are these arrests going to extend to politicians. we have to remember also that the death toll is continuing to rise, 139 people now confirmed dead. there are 34 still missing.
almost all of them were firefighters. people are asking why is it that so many firefighters died. were they adequately trained to deal with a chemical disaster on this scale. so many questions, but, of course, the big question is this. why was it that so many dangerous chemicals were stored in a warehouse less than a few hundred yards where thousands of people were living. >> we have seen this sort of thing, not chemical explosions but other collapses of factories across china. it seems when it comes to the regulations, their rarely is a problem in there and checking up on these. >> you are absolutely right. this really has shown a spotlight on china's shoddy record for industrial safety. just this week there was an explosion at a chemical factory that killed one worker. and then just a day or two ago,
there was an explosion at another factory that killed for workers. this is all depressingly familiar. people are no longer surprised by these sorts of industrial accidents because they are so frequent. there have been 13 accidents this year involving chemicals in china. that's a very, very big number. >> thank you for that, adriane brown. the head of the u.n. refugee agency slammed the eu's asylum system as completely dysfunctional. they have been called on to better handle the refugees. >> translator: i believe we must accelerate the decisions taken by the european council on the matter of the agenda. essential issues such as registration, hotspots where they can differentiate between who does and doesn't need protection. >> the german chancellor will
meet in vienna. they will look for more unified response to what is europe's biggest refugee crisis since world war ii. thousands of people continue to arrive in europe and hungary is considering deploying the army to its border near syria. 150,000 refugees have been stopped and tensions are running high. >> reporter: unrest in the european union border. u.n. helpers, they are chanting. the trouble didn't escalate beyond this registration center and it was short lived. but with record numbers crossing into hungary, there are fears of violence here. police are trying to play down the crisis. >> translator: there was a small conflict that erupted and self people tried to approach the fence. the policemen tried to stop them. they used cheer gas, but there
wasn't any injuries. >> reporter: right now thousands of people are getting through sections where there is only razor wire. police are failing to make arrests. but hungary's white wing government is taking a tougher line. more than 2,000 people are being sent to the border to reinforce it. next week the government will vote on plans to deploy the army. up to 3,000 people a day have been boarding buses bound for the hungarian border. there are record numbers. refugees say they have been treated better in serbia than greece and macedonia. but they are worried about getting into hungary. most of the refugees here are syrian. this woman fled from horrendous violence. now she's scared. >> we are here because we are worried about hungary.
not in turkey, greece, hungary, why do that, i can't understand. >> reporter: as politicians prepare for a summit to discuss the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war on the ground, the situation is worsening. andrew simmons, al jazeera on the hungary serbia border. >> south sudan's president has signed a peace deal at ending two years of violence in the country. he signed the agreement in the presence of regional leaders. but he's expressed reservations over whether it will end the country's civil war. they threatened immediate action if they failed to agree to the deal. we report from the south sudan. >> reporter: when the fighting started in december 2013, people fled to the safety of u.n. bases in several towns. now, 20 months later, more than
200,000 people are still living under the protection of the u.n. what began as a fight between soldiers killed and injured thousands of people. the violence didn't stop in the capital. it spread from town to town destroying neighborhoods and leaving tens of thousands of dead in its wake. the conflict soon took a dimension when the new tribe was pitted against the tribe of the president. everyone has a story to tell. when fighting came to her village, she was forced to run. >> translator: sometimes my heart tells me he's alive. but sometimes i get depressed. a lot of people told me, other people have faced a worse fate than you. so i start thinking about it and left it up to god. >> reporter: the army split into two factions with the former vice president announcing he was in command of the rebels.
for the last 20 months war in south sudan has dragged on with towns changing hands constantly between rebel and government forces. even those who said they didn't support either side weren't spared the violence and found themselves attacked in the street. >> translator: they cut me with a machete. i fell down. i didn't know what was happening. up to two, three hours i found myself in hospital. >> reporter: the united nations is demanding both sides come to a peaceful resolution. last week they signed an agreement with regional leaders and the pressure has been on the president to do the same. the international community is optimistic that the signing of this deal means the end of the war. but the people here aren't so confident, and that's mainly because some of the top rebel commanders have split and they have made it clear that this peace deal means nothing. unfortunately, that could mean this war isn't over.
kurdish fighters have taken ten villages in iraq from isil control. 2,000 advanced. they began the assault on wednesday with the backing of u.s. air strikes. the kurds very 25 isil fighters were killed. saudi arabia has troops in yemen for the first time. they have attacked houthi positions in the southern province. >> reporter: these are the first saudi soldiers to move into yemen. they have taken over mountainous areas and hills overlooking the southern region. but saudi minister commanders say the incursion is for a short period of time. in the meantime, artillery has been pounding houthi positions nonstop for days.
shia rebels insist they have a means to fight back. this is a houthi commander storming a post along the border with yemen. the soldiers seize the building after heavy clashes. they are seen here blowing up military vehicles before leaving the area. moments later, a saudi war plane strikes. fighting has flared up across the country. houthi fighters backed by troops loyal to the former president are trying to recapture some of the area they lost in the south. here, they ambushed pro government troops and destroyed vehicles that were recently provided by saudi arabia and the united arab emirates.
for the time being, each party wants to win the war so that it has the upper hand during negotiations. still ahead on al jazeera -- >> i'm in new orleans. it's been ten years since hurricane katrina devastated the entire city. there is now inequality here. the first indigenous australians win their fight for affordable housing in sydney.
>> here's a reminder of our top stories. police in china have arrested 12 people at a massive explosions in continue januar tianjin two . south sudan's president signed a peace deal aimed at ending nearly two years of civil war. he signed the agreement in the presence of regional leaders in the capital, but expressed reservations over whether it will end the violence. the u.n. refugee slammed the asylum system as completely dysfunctional. he wants a more unified eu response to the refugee influx. they are meeting to discuss eu policy to deal with the crisis. vigils have been held in virginia for a reporter and
camera man shot dead by a former colleague during a live broadcast. their murders have highlighted the problem of gun violence in the united states and renewed calls for tighter controls on firearms. >> reporter: reporter allison parker and adam ward were in the midst of a live early morning interview. without warning, viewers heard gunshots. the two journalists died at the scene. >> i can tell you how much they were loved, allison and adam, by the wdbj 7 team. they both were in love and we'll talk about that a little more with other members of the team here, and our hearts are broken and our sympathies go to the entire staff here. but also the parents and family of adam ward and allison ward
who were just out doing their job today. >> the gunman's image glimpsed on the video. he was identified at a former reporter at the same station who had been fired two years ago. abc news reported that he called the tv network to claim responsibility. saying he acted on god's command in revenge for the recent shooting of nine black churchgoers in charleston, south carolina. police pursued the man who crashed his car after shooting himself. >> she found flanagan suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. flanagan was flown from the scene to fair fox hospital where he died at approximately 1:30 p.m. today. >> reporter: on social meed yeah, he blamed the photographer for costing him his job and complained that the report he shot had been hired to replace him. he was described as difficult to work with. he was dismissed after many
incidents, quote, of his anger coming to the fore. a familiar syndrome tying gun violence to mental instability. >> almost one in ten adults have compulsive angry behavior and access to firearms. either they have guns at home or carry a gun around with them. >> on tuesday a 14 year told boy in west virginia held his class and teacher at gun point before releasing them. meanwhile, several big cities including washington d.c. which is seen sharp reductions in homicides, report the numbers are going up again this year. tens of thousands of antigovernment protesters are expected to rally later on thursday in guatemala's capital. it follows weeks of demonstrations calling for the president to resign over
corruption allegations. he denies wrongdoing and refuses to step down. >> reporter: elaena might not look like a typical activist. she sells handy crafts. but years of dismal profits force her to close her business, something she blames on government corruption. >> translator: it hurts me the way the government betrayed me. they lied to us. campaign promises were a lie. so we are coming here on to the streets to protest and show how we feel and prevent this from happening again. >> reporter: she's one of many who have been blocking the main highway over the past two days as a form of political protest. the people gathered here say this is the only way to make their voices heard by decision
makers in guatemala city. >> translator: it's important that we unite and put pressure on our politicians. we'll be here as often as we can because it's necessary. >> reporter: his presidency has been battered by a multimillion dollars corruption scandal. on tuesday his former vice president was charged with bribery, frayed and illicit association. and now the president faces an impeachment process launch by the attorney general. the former vice president says politicians no longer represent the interests of the citizens who elected them. >> it is like contained frustration over several years of mismanagement of public funds, of inefficiency in delivering the public services
that the population craves for in a very uneven or unequal society like guatemala. >> reporter: and the president's refusal to resign is bringing more people to the streets. for four months they have been protesting against political corruption and on thursday afternoon organizers say more than 30,000 people will crowd into guatemala city central plaza. they say it's going to be a show of solidarity with rural people coming together with people from the city. elena considers herself a political activists. they need to get involved, she says, if there is to be any lasting change. dozens of people in north korea are feared dead after floods caused by a typhoon.
more than a thousand homes were destroyed in cities close to the chinese and russian borders. mudslides killed more than 20 people in the philippines last weekend. u.s. president barack obama returns to new orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. it killed more than a thousand people and caused billions of dollars of damage. the city has made a steady recovery. but as andy gallagher reports, many channels remain. >> reporter: on the streets of the historic french quarter, the signs of recovery are obvious. it's a tourist hotspot and on the banks of the mississippi, the sound of jazz hales the rebirth of new orleans. it's a far cry from the desperate day that followed katrina when 80% of the city lay under water and the u.s. government was criticized for its slow response. over a thousand residents died. more were displaced, many never
to return, and entire communities lay in ruins. >> how we doing on produce? >> we doing well. >> for one of the oldest black owned businesses, there is criticism. this landmark has been in the family for generations, she says greedy developers are putting profit before people. >> all those people got paid. at the end of the day some people are still left without homes, education. it's getting better, but it's still not where it needs to be. >> reporter: in a nearby neighborhood an influx of people have made things worse for the city's poor. this community is now so expensive, many have been forced out to the suburbs. it's been such a powerful force that house prices have risen 75% in the past few years. researchers say that wealth disparity in this city is growing faster than anywhere else in the united states.
prove, say campaigners, that new orleans is more unequal than it was before katrina. in the upper 9th ward two things have changed. damian has deep roots here but can no longer afford to buy a house. >> school right here, across the street, abandoned. sits. could be open for children. it could be a resource center, could be a learning facility, you know, to where they come after school and just learn and get tutoring and stuff like that. >> reporter: it's clear that new orleans has a long way to go. even the city's most powerful officials admit that the poor are not being well served. >> well, it's not a surprise that people hurting more before the storm or after the storm, this is a universal principle in the united states of america. this is a whole discussion of income and inequality. >> it remains a shameful chapter
in u.s. history. the inequalities may be its lasting legacy. indigenous activists in australia claiming victory in their fight for affordable housing in sydney. protesters staged a lengthy sit-in. the government has stepped in to finance low cost homes. >> the standoff has been about timing. the company that wants to develop this site, a couple of kilometers from the center of sydney, said they would build affordable housing only after building shops. but indigenous people said they feared housing could be a decade or more away. they have gone against the protesters and it looked as though they could be evicted. now the government stepped in. it's committed $4 million to start the building of affordable
housing at the same time as the commercial buildings. the developers hasn't committed to that, but the pressure is on them to agree meaning a peaceful end to this protest is likely. the organizer told me she was proud of what people here had achieved. >> extremely proud. these are the people that give me hope. black and white community, they can see what they are doing and prepared to show their support physically, morally and be on hand. >> reporter: before this start dismantling the camp, they are waiting for formal word that they will build affordable housing at the same time as the commercial buildings. people are a lot more optimistic than they were. ancient churches have been places of pilgrimage.
but conservationists are struggling to maintain the buildings. >> reporter: it's the spiritual home of millions of orthodox christians around the world. the 11 churches were carved out of the mountainside in the 12th century. these places of worship represent holy sites in jerusalem and stories in the bible. the king built them so christians didn't have to risk the dangerous pilgrammage to the holy land. the ceiling dates from the 15th century. they are of immense historical importance.
but they are literally crumbling away. the rock is susceptible to moisture. they use a sir regina to inject grout. >> in terms of seismic activity, a slight earthquake would destroy the place. when you are dealing with natural strata in the terms of a historic building rather than a mine or a tunnel, there is nothing you can do. you can't line it with concrete and steel bars. you destroy the monument. you lose those and you are back into rotted geology. and that process isn't far off on the outside. >> he shows us what he means. >> if we start losing material like this right through here, i mean, the only future for that without some sort of intervention is this.
the idea of the bandage is to hold it in place until we can get there to repair it. every time it rains, a little bit more falls off. if we were to do this, it would be a catastrophe. >> translator: i'm lucky because i come from this area. this heritage is a big thing for us. >> reporter: a number of churches have been covered by temporary shelters to protect them from the rain while work is done. people pray. >> translator: the king didn't just build the churches as a human being, he built them with the help of god. >> he was included on the first ever world heritage site in 1978, preserving this place of spiritual retreat for ethiopians of every generation is a
challenge they pray they can meet. check out our website, the address is www.aljazeera.com. that's www.aljazeera.com. velshi. "on target" tonight, money for nothing. how wealthy sports teams get away with building stadiums and making the taxpayer pay the bill and the 2016 race for president. american football fans are counting down the days until the nfl season kicks off. it begins two weeks from tomorrow, when the defending super bowl champs the new england